For the Urban Sophisticate

Caring for Your Coasters

Posted by Harley London on

When your drink coasters arrive, open the can, and take a big whiff because there are no chemicals in there.  That smokey goodness is 100% naturally burned cypress; no fragrances added... you're smelling real wood.  

So, you've noticed your coasters are getting a little dull and don't have the same vibrancy they once had.  Don't fret!  Cypress is naturally water, rot, insect and mold resistant.  They are meant to soak up loads of water without splitting or cracking.  All you need to do is rub a little cutting board oil (mineral oil), or lightly spray some deft - clear wood finish on your coasters and let them dry.  Your coasters should regain their luster within a few hours.  

 

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Why Louisiana Cypress

Posted by Harley London on

Cypress trees are a staple of Louisiana's culture.  Take a boat ride through the swamps and you'll discover the alligator resting at the knees of this sacred being.  

Known for its ability to resist insects, water, rot, mildew and mold.  These trees produce one of the most durable woods for coaster, through the secretions of cypressene.  They are truly a force to be reckoned with.  

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A Moment of Gratitude

Posted by Harley London on

Spring is in the air; the flower buds are beaming, birds are joyously gliding across the sky.  But, one very persistent dragonfly, stops mid-journey just to capture my attention.  I eagerly inhale the message from this totem, smile, and move on.  

Have you ever noticed how everything's calling you towards it?  Asking you to reconnect to what really matters and release what no longer serves you.  As I write this post, a number of topics come to mind, but none as significant as the importance of death and renewal.  Oh, the joy of being alive.  Having the ability to, pick up the pieces, regroup and recharge whenever we feel the need.  And, the simple pleasure of witnessing the majesty of this universe.  

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Part #2: What Inspires Your Creations

Posted by Harley London on

 What inspires you?

I love wood... sustainability, and the exhilaration of creating something made from nature that's worn and used in the house.  That idea excites me, it makes me jump out of bed, in the morning, ready to begin my day.  I would like to say I created this brand, but the truth is the concept chose me, the excitement of this idea popped in my head one day and hasn't left me since.  I am truly blessed to do what I love.

Why work and create in New Orleans?
I'm a New Orleanian, born and raised Uptown and in Gentilly.  I moved away for a couple of years, but realized there's really no place like home... our music, food and culture makes it one of the most unique places on this planet.  And, I wanted to create in the mist of the magic and vibrancy in this city.  We live, love and gravitate towards our own laissez faire lifestyle, it captivates unsuspecting visitors on a daily basis, and I love it.  

Nola Influences?

Architecture: Acadians and Victorians, rust from wroth iron fences (the small details you only notice, when on a leisurely stroll through the city).  

The smells, of the food, coming from my favorite restaurant, Mardi Gras; things I can't package and get anywhere else in the world.  The random parades that pop up out of nowhere.  The mixture of all the different components that make New Orleans great. It doesn't matter if it's Jazz Fest or the Treme Fest people want a piece of what we have.  It inspires me and others who gravitate to this city on a daily basis.  

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Part #1: Interviewing Our Founder & The Creation of Harley London

Posted by Harley London on

 So, your name is Harley London?

No, my name is Charlotte Henry.  Harley's such a cool name that I think people just assume it's mine.  Customer's say it sounds natural, familiar even.  I honestly haven't been Charlotte since the inception of this business.  People who have known me for years call me Harley; it's kind of unusual, but I'm getting used to it. (chuckles)

 If Harley's not your real name.  Where did the name Harley London come from?

Harley, to me, sounds like a bad ass name.  And, London is known for its sense of style.  So, I merged the two and  created the stylish bad ass.  

HL started out as a male brand... created for the self-assured trendsetter.  I realized men had very little wardrobe accessory options and wanted to help.  My goal was to flip an everyday product and help customers stand out, not by screaming, but by confidently announcing his presence.  A month later the wooden cufflinks, lapel pins, pocket squares and name Harley London were born.  Each line was meant to effortless transfer from office to ball attire (suit to tuxedo).  

 How did you emerge from a male brand into what we see today? 

I had a number of enthusiastic female customer who loved the products, but felt left out of the brand.  They liked the idea of giving the items as gifts, but wanted to experience the line for themselves.  And, many began asking for products they could use.  

I was initially apprehensive about adding more items, because I didn’t know how to merge the concepts.  The idea of adding cufflinks with home goods and stationery seemed so foreign, so it took me a while.  I later realized I was making things too complicated and just created the coasters and postcards.  The rest of the brand slowly fell into place.  

Stop by next week for part #2.  

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